How Can One Write About The 20th Anniversary Of The Fall Of The Berlin Wall And Not Mention Reagan?
The 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has become a rather big deal over the last few days, with lots of people chiming in in the media. They all seem to be forgetting one thing: it would not have happened, at least certainly not that early, if it wasn’t for Reagan’s brilliant plan to bankrupt the Soviet Union, what he called the Evil Empire. Ross Douthat gives the Fall of the Wall a try in today’s Fish Wrap, and fails to mention Reagan
For most of the last century, the West faced real enemies: totalitarian, aggressive, armed to the teeth. Between 1918 and 1989, it was possible to believe that liberal democracy was a parenthesis in history, destined to be undone by revolution, ground under by jackboots, or burned like chaff in the fire of the atom bomb.
Twenty years ago today, this threat disappeared. An East German functionary named GÃ¼nther Schabowski threw open his country’s border crossings, and by nightfall the youth of Germany were dancing atop the Berlin Wall, taking hammers to its graffiti-scarred facade. It was Nov. 9, 1989. The cold war was finished.
Bark Bark Woof Woof actually has a pretty good summation of this
So perhaps the reason we’re not making a bigger deal out of the anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall is because it did not come after a brutal and bloody struggle. No shots were fired; after weeks of peaceful protests without repression from the state — a sign of impending capitulation itself — an East German bureaucrat mistakenly announced the lifting of visa requirements and the dreaded VoPos of East Germany stood meekly aside as the Trabants trundled through Checkpoint Charlie to the rhythm of rock music and dancing teenagers. What had been the stuff of James Bond and John Le Carre became Woodstock.
Still, BBWW failed to mention Reagan’s contribution to this. Without his economic war, disguised as a military one, we would not have seen what occured on 11/9/89. Back to Ross
There will be speeches and celebrations to mark this anniversary, but not as many as the day deserves. (Barack Obama couldn’t even fit a visit to Berlin into his schedule.) By rights, the Ninth of November should be a holiday across the Western world, celebrated with the kind of pomp and spectacle reserved for our own Independence Day.
A nice little shot at Obama. I understand him not wanting to go. His writings showed that he had no clue what Reagan was doing, and, seriously, Obama has more in common with the Soviet leaders of that day than with strong American leaders willing to stand up for Freedom around the world at all costs. Plus, it would be difficult to turn the event into one about The One.
Never has liberation come to so many people all at once – to Eastern Europe’s millions, released from decades of bondage; to the world, freed from the shadow of nuclear Armageddon; and to the democratic West, victorious after a century of ideological struggle.
Thank you, Ronald Reagan!
Meanwhile, our domestic politics are shot through with antitotalitarian obsessions, even as real totalitarianism recedes in history’s rear-view mirror. Plenty of liberals were convinced that a vote for George W. Bush was a vote for theocracy or fascism. Too many conservatives are persuaded that Barack Obama’s liberalism is a step removed from Leninism.
Plenty? How about a majority of them, unhinged, constantly comparing Bush to Hitler, thinking that Bush was personally placing bugs in their homes and cars, spying on them, building detention centers for liberals, that he would not leave the White House on January 20th, 2009, but would stay as a dictator…..you know the whole thing.
Obama could never achieve Leninism, and doesn’t match up. He doesn’t have the leadership skills, nor the will power to make the tough decisions. He just floats from one PC to another, sprinkling campaign stops in between. But, he has way more in common with Lenin’s view points than with American viewpoints.
Problem being, totalitarianism is not dead and gone. Islamists exist, and their movement is growing. Is it as dangerous right now as the Soviet Union? Not even close. But, all it takes is people looking away, wishing he problem didn’t exist, treating it strictly like we can use RICO statues against it, for it to grow.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove